Becoming a Web Developer Can Change Your Life

At 23 years old I was working as a cook at a seafood restaurant and making $9 an hour. I had no college degree and no experience working with technology.

I taught myself web development using free internet resources and built a new career for myself.

By age 26 I was making $38 an hour as a web developer at a major media company.

By age 30 I was working from home full-time as a web application architect.

I am not presenting this story to brag. This story, and this site, is about showing you how you can build a career as a web developer and drastically change your life and career.

Since I started my web development career I have been able to purchase a home, earn my Bachelors and Masters degrees, and travel extensively. All of those experiences were because of my choice to build a career as a web developer.

I sincerely believe the career path I chose can work for many other people, and I hope this site helps them achieve their goals.

Robert Stowe, M.Ed.
linkedin.com/in/rstowe

What is a Web Developer & What Does a Web Developer Do?

A web developer is a software programmer who is focused on developing sites and applications for the World Wide Web.

Simply put, a web developer writes the code which is used by computers to display webpages.

Here are some everyday tasks for a web developer:

  • Work with a web designer to create new webpage designs.
  • Discuss the layout and structure of a website with the website manager.
  • Write the code to produce a new page layout for a website.
  • Create a database for a new web based application.

The role of web developer is very flexible, and that flexibility is what makes it a good career choice for a large number of people.

The Benefits of Being a Web Developer

Being a web developer offers benefits most careers cannot.

  • You do not need a college education to be a web developer.
    • Companies will hire you based on your portfolio of sites. Develop A Job is designed to help you build your portfolio and get into your new career field quickly.
  • Pay is based on the knowledge you have, not your education level.
  • Everything you need to learn is available online, free of charge.
  • Many web development jobs allow you to work from anywhere there is an internet connection, even your own home.
  • Because every company and organization needs a website you can work at a variety of places. You can find corporate jobs, non-profit jobs, full-time hours, part-time hours, and even freelance jobs where you work for yourself at your own pace.
  • The position of web developer is in very high demand and the demand continues to grow.
  • A career as a web developer offers stability and long term career viability.
    • The web is probably not going away in your lifetime, and society will always need people to work on it.

Active Web Developer Job Openings

Web Developer - Chantilly, VA

Description Job Description: Leidos is currently seeking a web developer for a position in the Chantilly, VA area. This position requires an active TS/SCI with

.NET Developer - Chantilly, VA

Description SAIC is looking for a motivated .NET Developer to assist our intelligence customer (IC) in Chantilly VA. The hired candidate will be working with a

Ruby on Rails Developer - Chantilly, VA

…as we Redefine Ingenuity! SAIC is actively seeking a Ruby on Rails Developer whose support shall include providing development engineering and programming support to

Web Developer - Reston, VA

…people to join our team and help us revolutionize the future of health.The Web Developer creates and maintains websites for OVACS programs and projects.

Software Developer ARCHIBUS Integrator - Chantilly, VA

Description SAIC is seeking a top-notch Software Developer to join our talented team in Chantilly, VA. This position is responsible for maintaining the current

Multimedia/ Web Developer - Reston, VA

Description Job Description:Leidos is looking for a multimedia/ web developer to provide high-end multimedia products (animations, Flash-like products,

Sr. Web Developer (Polygraph Required) - Mclean, VA

…no challenge that we can't turn into opportunity. And our work depends on a Web Developer joining our team to support Government activities at McLean, VA.At

Web Developer , w/Poly - Mclean, VA

…no challenge that we can't turn into opportunity. And our work depends on a Web Developer joining our team to support Government activities at McLean.At GDIT,

Web Developer , with Polygraph - Mclean, VA

…no challenge that we can't turn into opportunity. And our work depends on a Web Developer joining our team to support Government activities at McLean, VA.At

Full Cycle Web Developer - Washington, DC

…gun" evidence. Join us and make a difference. Leidos is looking for a Full Cycle Web Developer to work on-sight in support of the Civil Rights Division. Selected

Full Stack Web Developer - Washington, DC

…$80000.00 to $110000.00 yearlyIf you're looking to further your career as a Web Developer , Robert Half Technology currently has an opportunity for someone

Full Cycle Web Developer - Washington, DC

…gun evidence. Join us and make a difference. Leidos is looking for a Full Cycle Web Developer to work on-sight in support of the Civil Rights Division. Selected

Web Developer - Secaucus, NJ

…candidates looking for the next step in their careers will be interested in this Web Developer position. Robert Half Technology is looking for a passionate

Web Developer - Jersey City, NJ

…could find the new opportunity you've been searching for with Robert Half Technology's Web Developer position. This position is for candidates with a strong

PHP Web Developer - Houston, TX

…in search of a new opportunity will be interested in Robert Half Technology's open Web Developer position. You will succeed in this position if you have a

Web Applications Developer - Rockville, MD

Job Summary: Supernus is looking for a full stack PHP developer to join the IT Team. This position will help with custom web application development, automation,

.Net Web Developer (Direct Hire) - Des Moines, IA

…of days a week! The rest of the week onsite in Des Moines as a .Net Web Developer !Enjoy the perks of a Completely Causal environment where you can be the one

Sr. Full Stack Web Developer - Akron, OH

Full Stack Sr. Web Developer Full-Time Direct Hire! Modis, Inc. is seeking a Full Stack Sr. Web Developer for a full-time direct role for large and

The Different Types of Web Developers

There are two components which deliver a website.

  1. The web server which holds the site information
  2. The browser program used to view the site (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.).

Every web developer has an understanding about both components, but many developers choose to focus on one of those components for their career. Since you are just starting as a web developer it would be good for you to learn a bit about both, then choose your area to focus on.

Web Development on the Server

Web developers who work on code on servers write the code which constructs the website. Their code pulls data and files from the server and combines them to produce the website.

Their code tells the server what to do when you send data to the server. Such as when you submit a form or send an email.

Web developers who work on server based code are often referred to as Back-end Developers.

Web Development for the Browser

Web developers who work on code on for the web browser write code which tells the browser where to lay out the pieces of a webpage. Their code tells the browser where to put text, images, and media (video, slideshows, etc.) on a given webpage.

Web developers who work on browser based code are often refereed to as Front-end Developers.

Where do Web Developers Work?

One of the great benefits of being a web developer is the flexibility of where you can work. This is just a small list of the different job types available to web developers.

  • On a product team at an advertising agency
  • In the IT Department of a major corporation
  • As member of a development team at a software development firm
  • As a freelance web developer and work on your own projects
  • Being the sole web developer at a small or medium sized company

How Long Does it Take to Become a Web Developer?

You will need two things to get your first job as a web developer:

Once you are able to produce a handful of sites and earn one or two certifications, you will have a strong enough resume to go job hunting.

Most people are capable of achieving those two goals with 6 months of part-time work and learning.

Develop a Job is a great tool for guiding your journey to a new career, but it is only one guide. We want you to succeed as web developer, so please use any resources which might help you become a web developer.

The Start Here: Web Development Podcast is another great resource for learning to be a web developer.

The Server, the Database, and the Browser

Those three components make up the basis of any website.

The server holds the files which are used to produce the website. These files include HTML files, images, videos, and the code files used to create the site’s layout.

A server is also referred to as a web server or the back-end.

Resources for learning more about web servers:

The database holds the data used in a website. The data in a database is stored in multiple tables that look similar to a spreadsheet. Each distinct database table holds data specific to a topic, function, or user.

The server adds data to the database tables and copies data from the tables. The server is the connection between the stored data and the web browser.

For example, when you log into Facebook the Facebook server copies all of the data needed for your profile from the database and sends it to your browser in a format which the browser can read .

The database is also referred to as the DB, or the data table.

Resources for learning more about databases:

The browser is the program you use on your computer to interact with the internet. There are a few different browser programs currently used: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari are some of the most popular.

You tell the browser which website or webpage location you want to visit and the browser retrieves the code and data from the server for that website. The browser then shows the data in the correct layout to you.

The browser is also referred to as the client or the front-end.

You interact with the browser using these program languages:

Websites, Webpages, and Web Applications

A webpage is a single page shown in a web browser. A single video page on YouTube.com is a webpage.

A website is a collection of webpages under a single URL (Uniform Resource Locator). Youtube (youtube.com) is a website.

A web application is a website which offers advanced functionality like a computer program would. An example of a web application would be a web based calendar, or web based email. Youtube.com is also a web application

What is a Web Host?

A web host is the computer which holds the web server and database.

Setting up and maintaining a reliable host computer is expensive and difficult.

Most people and companies pay a hosting company a monthly rate to use one of their computers as a web host.

In the section Build Your First Website we will point you to a low cost web host you can use to setup your first website.

Resources for learning more about web hosts and web hosting: